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  • by Nicola Boulton January 19, 2023 5 min read

    How CBD Works on Acute and Chronic Pain Management?

    The ECS system plays a huge role in pain management. CBD may interact with the ECS system to help manage acute and chronic pain. This article explains how CBD helps manage pain.

    Pain can be very uncomfortable, even if it is acute or chronic. Pain medication has been found to form a habit; the last thing patients want is to be hooked. Legalizing the hemp plant has led to the growth of the cannabis industry, and CBD brands are introducing new products that they claim have medical benefits. The cannabis industry is largely unregulated. CBD producers only adhere to the source of CBD and the amount of THC in their products. This article will help you understand how CBD manages acute and chronic pain.

    What is CBD?

    Cannabidiol, CBD, is a cannabis compound extracted from the hemp plant because of government regulations. You can extract CBD from marijuana, but it will be illegal because marijuana has more THC than CBD. THC is a psychoactive cannabis compound that causes a high feeling when marijuana is smoked. CBD is extracted using solvent extraction methods like CO2 and alcohol. The extracted CBD is processed into full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD to make CBD products. CBD oil is the most common CBD product, and it is made by adding a carrier oil like MCT to CBD. The carrier oil helps CBD to enter circulation.

    Acute and Chronic Pain

    Acute pain only lasts for a short time and goes away when the cause of the pain is no longer there. Acute pain may result from broken bones, burns, or cuts. According to the Institute of Chronic Pain (2020),Chronic pain, on the other hand, lasts longer even when the underlying cause is no longer there. Chronic pain is related to nerve pain, headache, cancer, and arthritis. Chronic pain may lead to depression, changes in appetite, anger, and anxiety. If the injury was the cause of chronic pain, a patient might develop a fear of re-injury, which will limit them from doing activities they used to enjoy.

    How CBD helps to Manage Acute and Chronic Pain

    Research on CBD has shown that CBD has the potential to help manage pain. According to Argueta et al. (2020), CBD can help manage chronic pain. CBD can help manage types of pain like arthritis, and neuropathic pain, notes Vučković et al. (2018)

    CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

    To understand how CBD helps manage pain, you should first understand what an endocannabinoid system is and why it is important to the body.

    The endocannabinoid, ECS, is the endogenous system in the body that is the body’s communication system that also helps maintain balance with the body. According toLu & Mackie (2016), the ECS consists of receptors, endocannabinoid neurotransmitters and enzymes. The receptors are placed on neurons and body cells. They send and receive signals, respectively. The endocannabinoid neurotransmitters carry the signals while the enzymes break the neurotransmitters. CBD molecules resemble neurotransmitters. Unlike THC, which binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors, Zou & Kumar (2018) note, CBD does not bind with receptors but affects how soon the enzymes break the neurotransmitters.

    According toOnuțu et al. (2018), serotonin affects how we perceive pain and how long it will last. High serotonin in the body will mean you experience pain for a short time, while low serotonin will mean you experience pain longer. CBD will help the action of serotonin by preventing the action of the enzymes.

    Bioavailability of CBD

    For CBD to work, it must enter circulation first. The methods of taking CBD will determine the amount of CBD entering circulation. According to Patel & Price ( 2021)bioavailability of a drug is the amount and extent to which the main component enters circulation. Ingestion, inhalation, topical, and sublingual are the common methods of taking CBD, and their bioavailability is as follows

    Ingestion Method

    The CBD will undergo metabolism before entering circulation, and most of the CBD is wasted during metabolism. At least 20% of the ingested CBD enters circulation.

    Inhalation Method

    The inhalation method so far is the best method of taking CBD. At least 70% of the inhaled CBD enters circulation. You also feel the CBD effect faster compared to other methods. It is the best method when you want a quick remedy. Learn more about cbd for lymphoma

    Sublingual Method

    The sublingual method also has faster effects, and 40% of the CBD enters circulation. The sublingual method involves placing drops of CBD oil in the sublingual layer and holding it for at least two minutes. Learn more about can cbd help you focus

    How to Dose CBD for Acute and Chronic Pain

    Dosing CBD depends on the products you will choose. You can choose either oils, edibles, topicals, or vapes. Dosing edibles is easy because they have a uniform amount of CBD. For topicals, scope a small amount and apply it to the affected area. Massaging the area will increase absorption. You can achieve your optimal CBD dose by starting with a small dose and gradually increasing it. You can also ask a physician to suggest a dose for you. Ask a physician if you can take CBD alongside medication because CBD interacts with medications notes Brown & Winterstein (2019).Other side effects of CBD are dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dry mouth.


    CBD can help manage pain because it interacts with the ECS. The ECS system regulates body functions like appetite, mood, sex, and pain through neurotransmitters. The enzymes in the ECS break the neurotransmitters once they have completed their actions. But with CBD, the neurotransmitters can continue with their activities,which in turn helps reduce pain. Acute pain lasts for a short time after the cause of the pain has been removed,but chronic pain continues for a long after the cause has been removed. It can last more than six months. The type of CBD product you choose will determine the method of administration and how soon you will feel the CBD effect, and how long it will last.


    Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain. Frontiers in pharmacology11, 561.

    Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions with medical and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) use. Journal of clinical medicine8(7), 989.

    Institute for Chronic Pain. Chronic Pain Syndrome. (http://www.instituteforchronicpain.org/understanding-chronic-pain/what-is-chronic-pain/chronic-pain-syndrome) Accessed 12/30/2020

    Lu, H. C., & Mackie, K. (2016). An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System. Biological psychiatry79(7), 516–525.

    Onuțu, A. H. ,Dîrzu, D. S. , &Petrișor, C. (2018). Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Their Role in Chronic Pain Management. In  (Ed.), Serotonin. IntechOpen.

    Price, G., & Patel, D. A. (2021). Drug bioavailability. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

    Vučković, S., Srebro, D., Vujović, K. S., Vučetić, Č., &Prostran, M. (2018). Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Frontiers in pharmacology9, 1259.

    Zou, S., & Kumar, U. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular sciences19(3), 833.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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